Is there anything more frustrating than finding a great price for an airline ticket, waiting one day to purchase it and seeing the price skyrocket? Well, yes, but it’s still infuriating none the less. But what if you could know the perfect day to find that perfect priced ticket? Well, CheapAir.com has the answer.
The discount travel site analyzed 1.3-billion bookings from 2015 to uncover the best time to pull the trigger on a ticket, and the answer is 54 days in advance. Of course the site cautions that the number doesn’t hold true for absolutely every trip, and recommends a “Prime Booking Window” which is between 21 and 112 days before departure.
Airlines usually put flights up for sale 335 days before a departure, so to help guide buyers, the site divided the 11-month booking window into five “zones.” The include:
- First Dibs (197 – 335 days out): These flyers get their pick of flight times, nonstop options and seats, but they’ll pay an average of $50 more than they would during the Prime Booking Window.
- Peace of Mind (113 – 196 days out): This time period offers a balance between flight options and price, but travelers pay an average of $20 more per ticket than they would in the Prime Booking Window, although they have more flight options to choose from.
- Prime Booking Window (21 – 112 day out): This is prime for bargain hunters. During these 90 days, fares fluctuate a lot, sometimes day to day. Travelers should check sites frequently for cheap airline tickets during this period.
- Push Your Luck (14 – 20 days out): Fares can fluctuate dramatically. Depending on how full flights are, travelers may get a fantastic deal, or they may pay significantly more.
- Hail Mary (0 – 13 days out): It’s rare but once in awhile the Hail Mary zone offers the best rate. On average though, seven-13 days out, travelers pay an average of $75 over the Prime Booking Window, while buying within a week of travel shoots a ticket up $200.